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Fisherman drowns at Reservoir

By Eugenia Jones

An early morning fishing trip on Thursday (June 23, 2022) to the Laurel Creek Reservoir turned into tragedy for 67 year old Pine Knot resident, Ronald W. Wood, when he fell into the water and drowned as he was unloading his boat from his truck’s boat trailer and putting the boat into water. 

Lead investigator, KY Fish and Wildlife Officer Joseph Braden, along with the McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters, Deputies Tom Smith and Dustin Ridner, and Department and Emergency Management Director Stephen McKinney initially responded to the scene after a group of kayakers notified 911 about a truck (with engine still running) and boat trailer backed up to the water on the boat ramp at the reservoir.  An unattended green John boat, with fishing tackle inside and trolling motor still up, had drifted to a nearby bank of the reservoir.  The kayakers requested a status check as they were unable to locate an individual with the truck or boat.

After arriving at the scene, law enforcement notified the South McCreary and Whitley City Fire Departments and South McCreary Water Rescue Team to conduct a search of the reservoir.  After using equipment to drag the water, the body was quickly recovered near the end of the boat trailer. 

McCreary County EMS and McCreary County Coroner Tim Corder also responded to the scene.  The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Officer in Frankfort, KY for an autopsy.  Preliminary results are consistent with drowning.

Wood loved hunting and fishing.  After bear hunting gained a legal hunting season in McCreary County, Wood used a cross bow to make the first harvest of a bear within county borders.  A complete obituary for Ronald W. Wood is on page 6A.

Photo by Eugenia Jones

An early morning fishing trip ended in tragedy when a fisherman drowned as he was putting his boat into the water at the Laurel Creek Reservoir.

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